At the height of the Cold War, the United States had more than 12,000 deployed strategic nuclear weapons. Reports are now surfacing that the Obama administration is exploring drastic new cuts in the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. This would be in keeping with the president's 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons altogether.
The New Start treaty has us on track to reduce the number of such weapons to 1550 by 2018. According to Associated Press reports, the administration is talking about reducing our deployment of strategic nuclear weapons by an additional 80% to around 300. This would put us somewhere in the neighborhood of China's arsenal and certainly well below Russia. It is assumed that a reduction of this magnitude would have to be matched by Russia…however no details along those lines have been forthcoming.
In a world where friends and dangerous enemies alike are also nuclear powers one has to wonder if this is wise. This is all the more in question given the frantic efforts by the Iranians to develop nuclear weaponry—which they would no doubt spread to other rogue nations like Syria.
Of course it would be something if we could wave a magic wand and un-invent these doomsday weapons altogether. But we live in a real world and peace through strength, not weakness, is still the order of the day. Idealism is wonderful…but we are dealing with a number of treacherous enemies desirous of our destruction. I'm Jim Cameron. Write and let us know what you think.